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Oncologists' opinions

Survey shows Roche most trusted by this specialist sector

The Doctor Monitor feature provides key insights into different speciality disease areas. Doctors are asked their views on pharmaceutical companies, key brands, representatives, education and meetings in an online questionnaire.

The second speciality doctor group surveyed in this series is oncologists (psychiatrists were surveyed in Q1 2009 - see results in Pharmaceutical Marketing, February 2009 issue). For this survey, a total of 100 oncologists (41 consultants and 59 specialist registrars) was sampled during March 2009. To follow are their responses to a number of questions in the survey.

Companies you trust

Q1: Which pharmaceutical company do you trust most?
1.
Roche
36 per cent
2.
AstraZeneca
20 per cent
3.
Sanofi-aventis
8 per cent
4.
Novartis
8 per cent
5.
Pfizer
6 per cent

None of these
22 per cent


The question of which pharma company oncologists trust the most gives an impressive statistic for Roche: 36 per cent is far higher than any other company. This shows how much oncologists value and trust Roche's contribution to cancer and its treatment. Interestingly, 22 per cent of oncologists declined to choose a company they "trusted the most" and opted for "none of these".

AstraZeneca achieved the second highest rating from the list of 20 firms presented, with 20 per cent of participants saying they trusted it the most.

Educational materials from pharma companies?

Q2: Which pharmaceutical company provides you with the most helpful educational materials?
1.
Roche
43 per cent
2.
AstraZeneca
17 per cent
3.
Pfizer
7 per cent
4.
Sanofi-aventis
7 per cent
5.
Novartis
7 per cent

None of these
19 per cent

In answer to question two, again Roche achieves a clear win, with 43 per cent of oncologists selecting it as the company providing the most helpful educational materials. This is very impressive, particularly from a doctor population often reluctant to admit that the pharma industry assists its clinical practice. AstraZeneca takes second place once more, with Pfizer and sanofi-aventis trailing behind.

Pharmaceutical company recommendation

Q3: If asked, which pharmaceutical company would you recommend to a colleague?
1.
AstraZeneca
7 per cent
2.
Roche
6 per cent
3.
Novartis
6 per cent
4.
Pfizer
6 per cent
5.
Sanofi-aventis
6 per cent


The third question did not offer "none of these" as an alternative answer, so the oncologists had to give information based on "likelihood to recommend". AstraZeneca, Roche and Novartis feature at the top of this list. This is quantitative research, but as a follow-up it would be interesting to know whether this is due to volume of calls and awareness. Interestingly, Roche does not feature highly here.

 

Satisfaction with clinical experience of products

Q4: Please rate your satisfaction with your clinical experience with the product
Product
Mean score based on oncologist response
1. Herceptin (Roche) 4.5
2. Zoladex (AstraZeneca) 4.4
3. Arimidex (AstraZeneca) 4.4
4. Xeloda (Roche) 4.4
5. Aromasin (Pfizer) 4.3

Oncologists were asked to rate 20 major oncology products in question four. There was an option for them to enter "not enough clinical experience". The score was calculated from the doctor responses of: very satisfied (5) through to very dissatisfied (1) (five options in total). Roche and AstraZeneca's products occupy the first four places. These clinical experience scores were all very close, illustrating little difference between them based on the oncologists' feedback.


Satisfaction with representatives

Q5: Please rate your satisfaction with the product representatives of each of the following products
Product
Mean score based on oncologist response
1. Xeloda 4.1
2. Aromasin 4.0
3. Herceptin 4.0
4. Taxotere 4.0
5. Acastin 4.0

Xeloda (Roche) scores highest on overall satisfaction with the representative in question five. Herceptin makes an appearance among the top five for this measure, with a score of 4.0. However, the scores are very close and show small variation among product representatives judged on "overall satisfaction". The score was calculated from the doctor responses of: very satisfied (5) through to very dissatisfied (1) (5 options in total).

Representatives with the best clinical understanding

Q6: Which representatives have the best clinical understanding?
Product
Mean score based on oncologist response
1. Herceptin 0.83
2. None of these
0.75
3. Taxotere 0.68
4. Abilify
0.64
5. Arimidex
0.49

For the sixth question, oncologists were asked to rank their top three choices from the list of products, giving a product chosen first a score of three, and chosen second, a score of two. The scores were then calculated based on the sum of the scores for each product divided by the entire base of respondents to ensure that the mean scores did not over-value products whose representatives are highly rated only by a very small number of doctors. Herceptin scores highest, however, "none of these" scores second highest, showing a potential need for further representative training (according to this survey). Again, further analysis would be useful to understand how the Herceptin representatives are perceived as having so much better clinical understanding.

Likelihood to attend company-sponsored meetings

Q7: Which product-sponsored meeting are you most likely to attend?
Product
Mean score based on oncologist response
1. Avastin
15%
2. Herceptin 13%
3. Tyverb
13%
4. Tarceva 10%
5. Xeloda 7%


Oncologists were asked to make one selection in answer to the question of which product-sponsored meeting they were most likely to attend. The top answer was Avastin. Highest scorers here are the products in which oncologists are most interested. Herceptin and Tyverb also ranked highly.

In conclusion, Roche is clearly popular with oncologists due to the educational resources it provides, which also makes it a "highly trusted" company. AstraZeneca also features prominently in the minds of oncologists.


The Author
Doctor Monitor is based on research conducted by medeConnect Healthcare Insight, which is part of the Doctors.net.uk group. The questionnaire was conducted online with Doctors.net.uk members. If you would like more information on this survey please email Carwyn Jones or call: +44 (0)1235 828 400.
To comment on this article, email pm@pmlive.com

15th June 2009

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